September 15, 2018:
Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in the Philippines early morning, local time, on Saturday, September 15th as a Category 5 hurricane. This was the strongest storm anywhere on the planet in 2018, with wind speeds at one stage of 285 kph. World Vision staff have reported that as of 6pm on Saturday local time, approximately 137, 950 people were impacted.
“We are desperately concerned for the lives and safety of 10 million people living within the 900km diameter of Typhoon Mangkhut,” said Rommel Fuerte, National Director at World Vision Philippines. “World Vision staff have been deployed on the ground ready to respond. This typhoon is likely to cause huge devastation. Millions of children are at risk.”
World Vision is in close coordination with local government units and other agencies to monitor the situation on the ground and determine the level of support needed.
“We are still without electricity. The winds are scary. I do not even want to try going outside because it’s pounding our house. Even with our doors and windows closed, it feels like there is someone whistling just beside me. It’s still dark outside and I am not sure what to see in the morning. Hopefully this will pass soon.” said Esme Rodriguez, a World Vision community leader in San Isidro, Isabela.
Typhoon Mangkhut is the strongest storm to make landfall on the Philippines' northern island of Luzon since Super Typhoon Megi in 2010.
In preparation for the needs of people affected, World Vision’s rapid assessment team is already in North Luzon, where approximately 30 million people are expected to face tropical storm-force winds. They are monitoring the situation on the ground, coordinating with local government units and partner agencies.
Although World Vision has pre-positioned items that can initially help 4,000 families, the need will be much greater than this. The emergency supplies in place include: hygiene kits (toothbrush, toothpaste, laundry and bath soaps, sanitary pads, nail cutters, underwear) and non-food items like blankets, mats and mosquito nets.
There are currently no World Vision Canada-funded area programs impacted. However, World Vision is monitoring four other area programs that may be affected when the storm reaches mainland China.
Update September 17, 2018:
As last reported by the Philippines government, approximately 665,806 people have been impacted. The death toll has increased to more than 64 people, and the number of missing and injured also continues to rise.
Like many others, Estel and her 11-month-old daughter, Yesha, along with her parents, evacuated their home a day before Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) hit the province of Cagayan. Their evacuation center, a gymnasium, was packed with more than 500 individuals from different coastal villages.
Estel and her 11 month-old daughter experienced life inside the evacuation center for the first time.
"The wind was so strong around one in the morning. We were all afraid that the gym's roof might be blown away. It was scary. Most of us never slept that night. We were merely listening and praying that the gym's roof was strong enough to withstand the typhoon. It did," she said.
World Vision is in close coordination with local government units and other agencies, monitoring the situation on the ground. There have been reports of landslides, blocked roads, destroyed homes and extensive crop damage. We are beginning initial distribution of relief items—namely food, shelter and hygiene supplies.